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Abstract The effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy (ART) depends on prompt uptake of treatment and a high level of adherence over the long-term, yet these behaviors are suboptimal. Previous interventions have significantly improved adherence but effect sizes are generally small. The aim of this article is to describe the design and content of an intervention to support uptake and adherence to treatment in HIV positive patients (SUPA intervention), utilizing cognitive behavioral and motivational interviewing (MI) techniques. The intervention was developed in line with Medical Research Council (MRC) guidance for the development of complex interventions and informed by the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) Guidelines for adherence, empirical evidence and focus groups. Behavior change techniques were mapped to perceptual and practical barriers to uptake and adherence to ART, identified in previous research. Intervention materials were designed and later discussed within focus groups, where feedback enabled an iterative process of development. We conclude it is possible to transparently report the design and content of a theory-based intervention to increase uptake and adherence to ART. The intervention has been evaluated within a randomized controlled trial (RCT) at 10 HIV clinics in England, the results of which will be reported elsewhere.

Original publication




Journal article


Translational Behavioral Medicine


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date